Jacquard is synonymous with elegance,” says distinguished Italian dandy and menswear designer Angelo Galasso of the woven patterned fabric made on a loom named after its inventor. “It gives a man a touch of regality like no other fabric and makes a piece of clothing a true luxury item.” Such a statement is hard to argue with, especially when the jacquard in question is silk and used for eveningwear – a trend I first noted in this column about 18 months ago. But jacquard cloth has continued to develop since then, and while pieces such as Galasso’s subtly patterned plum silk-jacquard double-breasted jacket (£3,400) and floral, burgundy velvet tuxedojacket with satin peak lapels (£4,800) remain head-turning, new iterations of the material are being used for more than just formalwear.
CP Company has long been a fabric pioneer and this winter introduced jacquards that use photo-technology to reproduce traditional Shetland tweed – but mixed with premium nylon/polyester. “It’s tricky to use even lightweight wools with down,” says creative director Paul Harvey, “but this new fabric allows us to create tweed-look nylon jackets.” Elsewhere, new-style herringbones are used for hardy, padded jackets (£695) and Prince of Wales check for a trench (£695) and blazer (£475), the apotheosis of traditional-meets-sporty outerwear. Hackett has also experimented in this area with a handsome high-tech quilted jacquard tweed-cum-nylon jacket (£700).
Sophisticated textures can also be found running throughout Boglioli’s collection. I like the Dover doubled-breasted jacquard jacket (£770), herringbone overcoat (£850), macro-bird’s-eye wool trousers (£180) and knitted shawl-collar blazer (£675) that’s almost a cardigan. Missoni has also used jacquard knits with tailoring – most striking are the mohair-jacquard sleeveless jumpers (£425) in amazing cornflower blue or claret that evoke baroque interiors.
Giorgio Armani’s geometric mohair-jacquard zip cardigan (£1,180) has similar impact, but even more striking yet surprisingly easy to wear, are Emporio Armani’s soft, metallic, knit-like shawl-collar jacquard jackets (£755) with large asymmetric brush strokes and snap fastenings – one in an antique bronze/black fine-chequerboard pattern, another in grey/black metallic herringbone.
Kilgour creative director Carlo Brandelli’s ebony/midnight-blue jacquard jacket (£1,300) also has a metallic sheen. I recently styled a dashing young (Oscar-winning) actor in this jacket with a dark silk scarf (£175), midnight silk V-neck T-shirt (£175) and dark jeans. There’s more metallic at Hardy Amies: a near chrome silk jacquard uses the house palette of silver/navy/grey in an abstracted pattern of teasel heads (£1,195), making for a bold cocktail/evening look.
Here at the smarter end of the jacquard spectrum, Gieves & Hawkes’ black wool/silk herringbone-jacquard double-breasted evening jacket (£2,195) with black grosgrain lapels plays with scale – the stripes are a massive 12cm. There’s also a shawl-collar version (£2,195) in burgundy/black or black Prince of Wales-check jacquard. Team with black trousers, shirt and tie from the wide selection in the brand’s full collection.
Black-on-black jacquard can also be found at Versace in glamorous form: a mohair-jacquard baroque-style gold-button blazer (£1,100) has matching trousers (£400) and matching baroque cotton-jacquard shirt (£700). For a full-on statement, top with a black wool gabardine coat (£2,170) with fur collar.
For other refined eveningwear, Ede & Ravenscroft has an unusual moleskin-jacquard evening jacket and waistcoat (prices on request) made by an Italian mill that has woven mélange-cotton yarns to create a subtle black/blue matte-optic swirl that feels like traditional Melton wool but is much lighter. And Turnbull & Asser has suave silk-jacquard shawl-collar jackets (£1,450) that feature lively Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy playing cards or an abstracted “shattered dreams” print, and a range of witty cummerbunds (£110) and bow ties (£75) using a silver/black distorted-letter pattern.